3:46pm Wednesday 20th March 2013
By James Stephenson
AS the weather looks at the moment, the Single Payment could be our only source of income this season and we need to protect it. Here is a quick update on some of the issues.
• Entitlements transfer – anyone needing to transfer entitlements in or out must do so by the deadline of April 2 and don’t forget Easter is that weekend.
• 2013 claim forms – the use of online submissions has increased dramatically and I expect the hundreds of forms that we deal with as agents will see more than 90 per cent computerised this year.
In fact, the RPA “drop-in centres”, outside which we used to queue in days of yore to get the claims date stamped, have now been reduced to five across the whole country, although for Yorkshire we still have Northallerton, if required.
Every farmer should have received a pin number in the post in the last few days which will enable him or his agent to go on online and complete the form. It’s important to remember that anyone who completed the claim form online last year will not receive a paper copy this year, so you will have to be pro-active to get the job done.
There are distinct advantages in the electronic method, not least of which are that your new claim form is immediately visible; you get an instant receipt once you’ve submitted the new claim and you can keep track of the progress of the claim throughout the year. If you need help, consult your agent.
• 2012 claims – the RPA has made great strides trying to improve its performance and at the end of February had paid 98.4 per cent of claims.
That may be of little comfort to the other 1.6 per cent but the assurance is that all will be settled by the end of April.
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